Thursday, October 9

MLB playoff predictions: LCS round

Alright, onto the League Championship round, where we have Tampa Bay vs Boston in the AL and Philadelphia vs LA in the NL.

I went 3-1 in the first round, hitting both AL series exactly right. The one I missed, LA over Chicago, I missed spectacularly, picking a Cub sweep when they in fact fell victim to one. Oh well. Let's see how I do here:


New York Yankees vs. Nobody
Yes yes.

Tuberculosis Devil Rays vs. Boston Red Socks
Fun fact: takes you to the Rays' home page, while does not. Case closed.

Can't even explain to you how much I want Boston to lose this. Them winning again would be so paint-dryingly boring that I might poke my eyes out. You've already won twice in the past few years, Boston, and we are tired of you. It's not even vaguely exciting or interesting. People like underdogs and feel-good stories, and Tampa Bay is both (at least the latter). Boston winning this would completely sap any interest I had in the postseason. Please lose.

But we're not here to predict who should win, only who will. Again appealing to run differential and Baseball Prospectus' 3rd-order win %, Boston was a slightly superior club this year. Their performance should have netted them 102 wins (they actually scored 95) while Tampa Bay notched exactly the 97 the model predicted. The teams aren't far apart, but give Boston the edge.

Both teams had nearly identical home marks and .500 road records, though TB has home-field advantage. Boston has a history of recent playoff success, giving them a significant edge in experience. Wow, this is a hard series to pick. All my instincts tell me Boston, but people have been underestimating Boston all year and TB played them tough this season. I can either hedge my bets by picking Boston and rejoicing if they lose, or go all in by picking the Rays. I'll be cautious.

Red Socks in 7


Phillies vs Dodgers
I haven't really gained a whole lot of insight into the NL, other than that LA seems to be better than I originally thought. When I made my basketball picks earlier this year, I made the mistake in both conferences of repeatedly picking against one particular team and having them keep winning: the Celtics and the Spurs. Granted, one of the Celtic losing picks was because they were playing the Cavs, but I had them losing to the Pistons and then the Lakers as well. The Spurs defied my picks by toppling the Suns and Hornets before I correctly had them falling to LA. In both cases, I stubbornly kept going against these teams and got burned.

In a similar fashion, I could keep picking against the Dodgers, because I don't get them and objectively they shouldn't be as good as the Phillies. But I'm not super-impressed with the Phillies and I think the Dodgers are coming together at the right moment, so I'm picking LA to reach the Series.

Dodgers in 6

1 comment:

Figgs said...

BoSux in 6.
I hate this pick. I've never wanted to be more wrong in my life. I love small market teams, I love underdogs, I love everything that the '08 Rays represent, and I hate everything Boston, especially the Socks. I feel by picking against TB that gives them a better chance to win, as they seem to thrive on being the underdog (see 2002 Ohio St football).

Phillies in 6.
I'm not too up on my NL knowledge either, but I do know that Brad Lidge is one of the best closers in the game and I don't think LA even has a closer. 9th innings tend to be pretty important in the playoffs, I want Lidge on the mound.